It’s been a long day


To whom does my brain belong?
With what can I or you resist?
Within me disorder
While my brain seeks its order, at almost any price …

~ Göran Sonnevi, from Mozart’s Third Brain


Notes:

Lightly child, lightly.

When we examine our thought stream with mindfulness, we encounter the inner sound track. As it plays, we can become the hero, the victim, the princess, or the leper. There is a whole drama department in our head, and the casting director indiscriminately handing out the roles of inner dictators and judges, adventurers and prodigal sons, inner entitlement and inner impoverishment. Sitting in a meditation class, we are forced to acknowledge them all. As Anne Lamott writes, “My mind is like a bad neighborhood. I try not to go there alone.”

When we see how compulsively these thoughts repeat themselves, we being to understand the psychological truth of samsara, the Sanskrit word for circular, repetitive existence. In Buddhist teaching, samsara most commonly refers to the wheel of life. On this wheel, beings are reborn and subject to suffering until they develop understanding and find liberation. Samsara also describes the unhealthy repetitions in our daily life. On a moment-to-moment level, we can see our samsaric thought patters re-arise, in unconscious and limited ways. For example, we see how frequently our thoughts include fear, judgment, or grasping. Our thoughts try to justify our point of view. As an Indian saying points out: “He who cannot dance claims the floor is uneven.”

~Jack Kornfield, The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology


Notes:

  • Quote: Make Believe Boutique. Photo: Patty Maher with She danced among the trees
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Onward people, onward.

~ Linda Gregg, excerpt from “We Manage Most When We Manage Small” in “Too Bright to See / Alma: Poems


Source: Tatterdemalion

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

Parked outside my therapist’s office, I watched another therapist attempt to parallel park. When you grow up on a rural reservation, you only have to park parallel to the earth, so I was impressed as she parked skillfully in a very narrow space. But I guess it wasn’t quite parallel enough, so she pulled out of the space and tried again. And again. I thought she parked well, but she thought otherwise. She parked, pulled out, parked, pulled out, parked, and pulled out for at least ten minutes. Finally, she parked in a way that pleased her. Or maybe she just abandoned the effort. But as she stepped out of her car and walked toward her office, I thought, “Damn, I want that one to be my therapist.”

~ Sherman Alexie, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir


Portrait: Sherman Alexie

Riding Metro North. And Brooding.

6:16 am train to Grand Central. No seats, need to stand. I wait until the first stop at Stamford and then shoe horn myself across from a lady in a bright, pumpkin colored dress.  In order to fit, I need to sit on a diagonal with my knees in the aisle. Pumpkin shifts her knees to the right to avoid contact. The top of her left knee has a deep burn mark, her right knee is clean. Listen, in these close quarters, it’s impossible not to notice. I shift uncomfortably. Personal space inadequate, we’re bordering on claustrophobia here. It’s the trade you made friend, stand for an hour or this…so this is it.

The Suit to my left is asleep. Meaning, like dead to the world. Rip’s hands hug a hard cover book against his chest; a monogrammed cover, title unknown.

I turn to my morning reading. A blog post by Beth @ Alive on All Channels: “These People Are Not Drowning Today.” Pacino in Taxi Driver pops to mind: You talkin’ to me?She’s certainly is not talkin’ to me. My eyes flick down the page and catch a passage from Zen teacher Barry Magid: “Leave Yourself Alone“:

The paradox…is that the most effective way of transformation is to leave ourselves alone. The more we let everything be just what it is, the more we relax into an open, attentive awareness of one moment after another. Just sitting leaves everything just as it is.[Read more…]

Count down…

funny-psychology-doubt.jpg


Source: Peteski

No Shame

patti-smith
I’m going to promote myself exactly as I am,
with all my weak points and my strong ones.
My weak points are that I’m self-conscious and often insecure,
and my strong point is that I don’t feel any shame about it.

~ Patti Smith, from “Patti Smith: Somewhere, Over the Rimbaud,” by Susan Shapiro, Crawdaddy, December 1975


Notes:

It’s been a long day

breathe-gratitude-long-day


Notes:

Lightly child, lightly.

light

Light splashed this morning…
A curious gladness shook me…
and I pick my notebook up
and I start to read aloud
the still-wet words I scribbled
on the blotted page:
“Light splashed …”

I can scarcely wait till tomorrow
when a new life begins for me,
as it does each day,
as it does each day.

~ Stanley Kunitz, from “The Round” in Passing Through: The Later Poems, New and Selected


Notes:

  • Photo:ben cauchi via mennyfox55. Poem: via readalittlepoetry
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

It’s been a long day

paul-apalkin

Here is what I love about the brain:
How it remembers.
How it sews what soft it can
into a blanket for the nights
when I am cold with trouble.

~ Sean Patrick Mulroy, from “The Offering” in Tap Lit Mag (Fall/Winter 2016)

 


Notes:

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